Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said today that he will leave the assault weapons ban proposal out of the gun violence bill he intends to bring to the Sentate floor. He asserts that the assault weapons ban can be proposed later as an amendment, but it lacks the support needed to overcome a Republican filibuster and allow debate on the gun violence bill to begin.
Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein has advocated a new federal assault weapons ban following the tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut. She was the author of the original 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban that expired in 2004. Though Feingold’s proposal passed the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, Reid does not believe her bill has enough support to make it onto the Senate floor.
“Right now her amendment, using the most optimistic numbers, has less than 40 votes,” Reid told reporters. “That’s not 60.”
Reid does not want the assault weapons ban to prevent the passage of other measures that have more Republican support, those that address background checks, mental health, federal trafficking, or clip-size limits. Feingold’s assault weapons ban can be proposed as an amendment, but it still faces a difficult path ahead.
“I very much regret it,” Feinstein told reporters before attending a weekly lunch with Senate Democrats, according to Roll Call. “I tried my best, but my best, I guess, wasn’t good enough.”
Feingold’s ban would prohibit the production of 157 specific types of guns along with ammunition magazines holding over 10 rounds. The Inquisitr has previously reported on some of the bill’s weaknesses, such as the prohibition of one particular model of a gun while permitting a near identical model that shoots at the same speed.
Even without the burden of the assault weapons ban, the gun violence bill is still weighed down by other issues. CBS reports that there are both Democratic and Republican senators who want to avoid the creation of a national gun registry, limiting how effective a future background check implementation might be.
Whether or not an assault weapons ban appears in the final form of any Senate gun violence bill, Feingold will support the legislation.
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